An Indian attending a Filipino concert without knowing much about the artists playing isn’t usually the norm. But when I was given the chance to throw myself into the deep end at the 1MX Dubai 2021 concert on December 3, I didn’t hesitate. And for that I was rewarded with one of the best music experiences ever.
When I entered the Trade Centre Arena, it was packed to the rafters with fans buzzing with a contagious electricity and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the musical treats on offer.
For starters, there was the ‘sibling’ Pinoy Pop girl group BINI and boy group BYGO, who showcased some strong vocals and intricate choreography that could rival any K-Pop group out there. They were full of energy and excitement, and for good reason — it was their first time performing in front of a live audience.
After the P-Pop stars came songstress Gigi De Lana, who drew massive cheers as she sauntered onto the stage in a long silver dress. De Lana was in top form as she kicked off her set singing covers of classic Filipino tracks. These old favourites were eaten up by the crowd and De Lana was happy to show off her impressive vocal range — from sweet and soft in some songs, to Whitney Houston-style belting in others. Goosebumps were inevitable as the social media sensation made complex vocal runs look like a walk in the park.
Soon after, rapper EZ Mil got the crowd pumped up with some heavy trap beats, scoring the loudest cheers for his viral track ‘Panalo’ and an excellent cover of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’.
The talented star was followed up by one of the most anticipated acts of the night, as evidenced by the audiences’ deafening screams at her entry.
Moira Dela Torre, known for her melancholy songs, was the picture of elegance as she took to the stage. Her honeyed vocals managed to pull some tears out of me, even thought I had no idea what she was singing about. I guess that’s the power of good music!
Both the leading women, Dela Torre and De Lana, were confident and graceful on stage, interacting with the audience and acknowledging the many shouts of ‘I love you!’ from fans.
The evening was topped off with the headline act — the music icon Bamboo. After having heard and read so much about his legacy, I was excited to see what he could do. What he did was blow me and audiences away with his signature rock anthems that flooded the arena and had people singing along with abandon. I would have jumped up and danced if I could (this was a seated event)! I was wowed by Bamboo’s showmanship, powerful voice and energy — a rock star in every sense of the word. I truly understand now why he’s such a revered musician.
I left the concert feeling elated at having experienced something new but also hopeful that more people might listen to artists from the Philippines because there’s so much out-of-this-world talent to be witnessed. I for one am ready for OPM (Original Pilipino Music) to achieve world domination.